The comments weren’t warmly received by the FIA, which duly summoned Horner to the Stewards office as soon as the flag fell in Losail for allegedly being in breach of the International Sporting Code – specifically Articles 12.2.1 f) and 12.2.1 k), in relation to competitors conduct.
The two articles concerned say an offence is committed if a competitor has issued: “Any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA.”
After apologising to the Stewards, Horner was issued with a warning.
“Team Principal (Christian Horner)[…]explained his reaction was one that was made under the pressure of competition following the penalty imposed on the driver of Car 33,” an FIA statement said.
“The Stewards explained that the marshal concerned was doing his job in precisely the way prescribed in the International Sporting Code.
“Mr Horner offered to apologise to the marshal concerned and explain to the media he meant no offence.
“He also offered to participate in the 2022 FIA International Stewards Programme in early February.”
Prior to the hearing, Horner was apologetic when interviewed by Sky after the race.
“Some comments from our interview earlier, where you asked me about the marshalling – marshals do a wonderful, wonderful job and volunteers, they do a great job and my frustration in what I voiced earlier wasn’t a marshal’s [fault] it was a circumstance and so if any offence was taken by any individual then obviously I apologise,” he said.
When Damon Hill suggested that Horner is “quite punchy” with comments he makes in the media, the Red Bull boss replied: “I’m straight, I tell you what I think. If I think you’re being an a*** I’ll tell you you’re being an a***.”
Tensions have been mounting in the F1 paddock as the title fight between Mercedes and Red Bull has intensified, with Horner earlier this week accusing the Brackley squad of contravening rules by using an alleged flexi-wing, saying the team’s speed was “not normal”.